Thursday, July 30, 2015

Russia Challenges America's Orwellian National Endowment for Democracy

Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian National Endowment for Democracy

by Stephen Lendman

NED’s duplicitous mission statement indicates a “dedicat(ion) to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.”

Its practices are polar opposite - a State Department-funded agency created to undermine democracy wherever it exists.

It’s a global mischief-maker - a rogue agency financing anti-democratic groups and initiatives in scores of countries worldwide. Its objective is regime change - notably in independent nations like Russia. It subversively interferes in its electoral practices among other ways of targeting its sovereignty.

Moscow’s mid-year 2015 enacted Law on Undesirable Organizations justifiably targets foreign organizations posing a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability or the security of the Russian state” - subversive groups no governments should tolerate.

On July 28, Russian Deputy Chief Prosecutor Vladimir Malinovsky “signed a decree recognizing the activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, a foreign non-commercial organization, as undesirable in the territory of Russia in compliance with a law on measures of impacting people linked to the violation of basic human rights and freedoms and the rights and freedoms of the citizens of Russia.”

The document was sent to Russia’s Justice Ministry - including NED in its register of undesirable foreign organizations.

Action against the organization was long overdue along with targeting other US subversive ones. More on them below. Washington works aggressively against Russian interests - a longstanding campaign to marginalize, contain, weaken and isolate Moscow, with internal subversion one of many methods used.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov called the undesirable organizations law “without any question a step in the right direction.” Many so-called NGOs (like NED) are agents of foreign governments.

In late May, Putin signed the new measure into law. It lets the Prosecutor General’s Office and Foreign Ministry declare activities of “undesirable foreign organizations” illegal - ones posing a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or to the security of the Russian state.”

Non-compliance is punishable by administrative penalties. Repeated violations mandate imprisonment for up to six years. Russian citizens and organizations working with banned groups face fines only.

Russia’s 2012 Foreign Agents Law requires NGOs engaged in political activities to register as foreign agents or face stiff fines. They’re prohibited from supporting political parties. They’re free to engage in other activities.

NED is a longstanding political meddler. It’s named in a Russian upper house Federation Council “patriotic stop-list” - groups considered potentially threatening national security. 

Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said the list was created out of concern about foreign organizations operating subversively in Russia.

A Federation Council statement said “(t)oday Russia faces its strongest attack in the past 25 years, targeting its national interests, values and institutes.”

“Its main goal is to influence the internal political situation in the country, undermine the patriotic unity of our people, undermine the integration processes within the CIS space and force our country into geopolitical isolation.”

Groups included in the Federation Council’s stop-list are “known for their anti-Russian bias.” They include:

NED, George Soros’ Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute, MacArthur Foundation, Freedom House;  Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Polish-based Education for Democracy Foundation, East European Democratic Center, Ukrainian World Congress, Ukrainian World Coordinating Council, and Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights. 

Nations must protect themselves against foreign subversion without violating international rule of law principles. In enacting the Law on Undesirable Organizations and Foreign Agents Law, Russia acted responsibly.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Anti-Iranian Nuclear Deal Blitzkrieg in Full Swing

Anti-Iranian Nuclear Deal Blitzkrieg in Full Swing

by Stephen Lendman

Administration officials answered questions on the agreement asked by House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee members. Classified private meetings were held. They’ll be more in the weeks ahead.

Israel, its lobby and bipartisan congressional Iran-haters aim to undermine the nuclear deal years in the making. It includes the most intrusive inspections of any country’s nuclear program.

Known nuclear weaponized states aren’t held to account like Iran. America and Israel prohibit inspections of their thermonuclear weapons research, development and production facilities. No IAEA complaints are lodged - only against Iran despite its known peaceful activities.

A 2016 Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government spending bill provision calls for the Treasury Department to review sanctioned Iranian activities to determine if nuclear deal violations were committed before permitting their removal.

Another requirement is for continued checking for 180 days after sanctions are lifted. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved both provisions. Expect more congressional anti-Iranian actions ahead.

Former Arkansas governor, earlier Fox News talk show host, presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee is part of America’s lunatic fringe.

He called Obama’s foreign policy “the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that (he’d) trust the Iranians. (He’ll) take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

He lied claiming he “read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store,” he blustered. It’s got to be stopped.”

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) “denounced” Huckabee’s rant “in the strongest possible terms,” saying:

“Far, far too often, this organization has found itself forced to denounce politicians for invoking the Holocaust in inappropriate and offensive ways.” 

“These comments by Governor Mike Huckabee, however, may be the most inexcusable we’ve encountered in recent memory.”

“To state that President Obama is leading Israelis ‘to the door of the oven’ is not only disgustingly offensive to the president and the White House, but shows utter, callous disregard for the millions of lives lost in the Shoah and to the pain still felt by their descendants today.”

In response, Huckabee twittered: “Tell Congress to do their constitutional duty & reject the Obama-Kerry #Iran Deal” - followed by repeating “The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Marching Israelis to the Door of the Oven.”

Netanyahu continued his tirade - calling the strictest inspection process imposed against any nation by far “full of holes. The deal is terrible. It’s preferable to have no deal to this deal.”

It “permit(s) the IAEA to implement continuous monitoring (for 15 years), including through containment and surveillance measures, as necessary, to verify that stored centrifuges and infrastructure remain in storage, and are only used to replace failed or damaged centrifuges.”

Monitoring includes "electronic seals which communicate their status within nuclear sites to IAEA inspectors, as well as other IAEA approved and certified modern technologies.”

Iran has 24 days before permitting or denying access to non-nuclear sites - a right all nations would demand. None would permit unrestricted access anywhere in their countries.

According to Netanyahu, “Iran will become a nuclear threshold country with the potential to build nuclear weapons” - in “10 to 15 years.” Earlier he said within a year or two, then six months or sooner.

How can it with no nuclear weapons research, development or production and well-known opposition to all three activities.

P5+1 countries say Vienna terms reliably guarantee Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. They positively impact regional security.

AIPAC remains adamant against the agreement. “What can IRAN HIDE  in 24 days,” it asks?

  • “Most weaponization activity” - despite no evidence of any anywhere nationwide, at nuclear or non-nuclear sites.

  • “Centrifuge manufacturing” - intrusive inspections and sophisticated intelligence will be able to detect cheating if it occurs.

  • “Centrifuge components” - subject to the same checks.

  • “Uranium stockpiles” - inspections will know whatever exists.

  • “Incriminating documentation, computers, hard drives” - not likely to escape detection if exists.

  • “Computer modeling to simulate explosive devices” - easily checked by NSA surveillance.

  • “Work on firing systems” - monitoring and/or other intelligence will know if ongoing.

  • “Experiments with explosive lenses” - not likely to escape detection.

  • “Missile components” - unrelated to nuclear deal provisions.

“We need a better deal,” says AIPAC. It wants Iran eliminated as an Israeli regional rival - despite its peaceful agenda.

It renounces the Vienna-agreed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It endorses endless US/Israeli wars and destabilizing activities. Its agenda threatens world peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israel Declares War on Palestinian Hunger Strikers

Israel Declares War on Palestinian Hunger Strikers

by Stephen Lendman

Israel’s hardline Knesset approved legislation authorizing force-feeding Palestinian hunger strikers for justice.

Racist Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said "(a)longside attempts to boycott and delegitimize Israel, hunger strikes of terrorists in prisons have become a means to threaten Israel."

Cabinet members approved the practice weeks earlier. It’s torture by other means. It causes extreme pain and suffering. A previous article described the procedure as follows:

Tubes are forced painfully through their noses and throats to their stomachs. It's done abrasively. It draws blood. 

Liquid nutrients are pumped into their stomachs. No sedatives or anesthesia are given. The procedure is administered twice daily. If vomiting occurs, the procedure is repeated.

Tubes are generally reused. They're covered in blood and stomach bile. At US torture prisons they're passed from one inmate to another. Israel likely intends the same procedure.

The World Medical Association (WMA) is the preeminent international group in the field of medical ethics and practice. 

It condemns force-feeding, saying it violates fundamental medical ethics. When accompanied by "threats, coercion, force, and use of physical restraints, (it's) considered inhuman and degrading treatment."

It blatantly violates Geneva's Common Article 3 and other human rights laws prohibiting cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment. 

Palestinian Minister of Prisoners Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said “(t)he approval of such a law shows racism and brutality in the Israeli government. (It) believes that it is above the law by approving laws against the Geneva convention and international humanitarian law." 

Arab-Israeli MK Ahmed Tibi said that hunger strikes are a non-violent attempt for "legal and political achievements. It is the only thing Palestinian prisoners feel can be done in Israeli prisons.”

A statement from other Arab MKs bashed “a law to torture Palestinian prisoners, aimed at uprooting their legitimate struggle.”

The Israeli Medical Association (IMA) called the measure “damaging and unnecessary.” Its members will “continue to act according to medical ethics, which prohibit doctors from participating in torturing prisoners.” It stressed force feeding is “tantamount to torture.”

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) called the new law “shameful.” It reveals the “anti-democratic face” of Knesset extremism. It promised continued opposition to the measure and “support (for) anyone…refus(ing) to obey” it.

The Palestinian prisoner support group Addameer said the new law provides “legal cover” to torture prisoners. It’ll facilitate “kill(ing) more Palestinian hunger strikers.” Five others died earlier from the practice despite no law at the time authorizing it. 

A Knesset press statement said prison officials must use “all means at their disposal” to persuade inmates to eat before resorting to force feeding.

IMA and PHR-I may petition Israel’s High Court to declare the new measure in violation of fundamental international human rights law.

Most Palestinian hunger strikers are held administratively uncharged and untried - one of many draconian Israeli practices. They can be held indefinitely with no chance for justice - or if released are often rearrested and again imprisoned unjustly.

At any time, hundreds of Palestinians guilty of no crimes are persecuted this way. Haaretz editors addressed the practice headlining “Israel must stop draconian detentions without trial,” saying:

Israel doubled the number of administrative detainees since last summer’s Gaza war. “It reflects excessive, illicit use of a means intended only for rare, aberrant cases.”

At most, it should be “temporary, specific and limited” - never standard practice affecting hundreds of Palestinians unjustly.

It’s extrajudicial “without the guarantees, evidence and standards that the legal system requires.”

“The wholesale use of detention without trial is a severe breach of the right to liberty, one of the core rights of (Israel’s) Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. The state must restrict this measure to especially grievous and rare cases and stop its current practice immediately.”

Most Palestinian hunger strikers are administrative detainees held without charge or trial because they committed no crimes. No evidence proves any. Refusing food is their only way to resist a draconian practice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Irresponsibly Bashing Russia Veto Against Establishing Kangaroo MH17 Tribunal

Irresponsibly Bashing Russia Veto Against Establishing Kangaroo MH17 Tribunal

by Stephen Lendman

Neither Russia nor Donbass freedom fighters had anything to do with downing MH17. Not a shred evidence suggests it. 

Plenty points to Washington and Ukraine culpability. They had clear means, motive and opportunity - the key determinants for initiating a criminal proceeding. They and partnered nations want Moscow and rebels blamed for their crime.

The Obama administration conspired with Malaysia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine for unprecedented Security Council authorization for a tribunal to absolve culpable parties responsible for the incident and declare innocent ones guilty by accusation - a kangaroo process to be US manipulated and controlled to assure the outcome Washington wants.

Russia acted responsibly - vetoing what never should have been proposed in the first place - a thinly veiled scheme to avoid justice.

Eleven nations voted “yes” (America, Britain, France, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria and Spain). Three abstained (China, Venezuela and Angola). 

Russia’s veto defeated the draft resolution. Envoy Vitaly Churkin criticized its backers for submitting a measure with no chance for passage - rejecting compromise language Moscow proposed.

“(P)olitical purposes were more important for them than practical objectives,” Churkin said. Russia rejected the proposal because “UNSC resolution 2166 didn’t qualify the Boeing tragedy as a threat to international peace and security.”

How can it “now suddenly become one.” No precedent exists for establishing an international tribunal to hold culpable parties accountable for a transportation catastrophe, he stressed. Nor should the Security Council be involved in these type matters.

Common sense, logic and precedent didn’t deter Russia bashing by other SC members. Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Moscow’s veto sends a “dangerous message of impunity to the perpetrator of this heinous crime.”

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop bashed Moscow saying “the anticipated excuses and obfuscation by the Russian Federation should be treated with the utmost disdain.”

“The exercise of the veto today is an affront to the memory of the 298 victims of MH17 and their families and friends.”

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said “I find it incomprehensible that a member of the Security Council obstructs justice.”

Kiev’s illegitimate foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin ludicrously said “(t)here is no reason to oppose (the proposal) unless you are a perpetrator.”

Neocon UN envoy Samantha Power’s comments didn’t surprise, saying:

“By vetoing this resolution, Russia has tried to deny justice to the 298 victims on that plane, and deny their families a chance to hold accountable those responsible.” 

“Russia has callously disregarded the public outcry in the grieving nations, the appeals of the families affected. It is tragic that Russia has used the privilege entrusted to it in order to advance international peace and security in order to frustrate international peace and security.”

She promised continued Washington efforts to blame Russia for US/Kiev criminality. She ignored how often America vetoes SC resolutions to hold Israel responsible for the highest of high crimes.

Media scoundrels bashed Russia irresponsibly. The New York Times said Moscow “(i)nfuriated nations that lost citizens…”

The Washington Post ran an AP article full of Russia bashing quotes. A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said:

“Russia will continue making the most energetic efforts on rendering all possible assistance to investigating the air crash.” It rejects politicizing the MH17 incident supported by Washington and 10 other SC members.

It urged adopting a constructive framework for determining culpable parties and holding them responsible.

“This is exactly what (unanimously adopted Resolution 2166) proposed by Russia…was aimed at - to broadly employ UN mechanisms for soonest completion of full, transparent and trustworthy international investigation of the crash and subsequently search for the most appropriate format of legal proceedings,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

”Only the full implementation of Resolution 2166 will (enable) finding those guilty and bring them to justice.”

“Russia condemns the destruction of Malaysian plane MH17 by unidentified persons and once again expresses deepest condolences to the relatives of all passengers and crew members that became victims of this horrible tragedy.”

Ten SC members ignored Russia’s responsible proposal. “Instead of that, they preferred to hastily submit for voting in the Security Council their own version with establishing an international tribunal without discussing any other options.”

“Our persistent explanations about inexpedience and counter-productiveness of such step, that had no precedents in the past, before the ongoing investigation into circumstances of the air crash is complete, were not taken into account.”

Washington and complicit partners intend exploiting Russia’s veto irresponsibly - another stick to justify maintaining lawless sanctions, US-led NATO troop deployments near its borders and continued vilification for baseless reasons. Imperialism works this way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

US Wants Enhanced UN Peacekeeping Operations Serving Its Interests

US wants Enhanced UN Peacekeeping Operations Serving Its Interests

by Stephen Lendman

So-called Blue Helmets don’t operate as officially mandated - “help(ing) countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace.”

Their deployments aren’t benevolent. They don’t restore order, maintain peace or provide for the needs of local populations. Nor do they build confidence, enforce power sharing agreements, provide electoral support, aid reconstruction, uphold the rule of law, or help efforts toward economic and social development.

They’re imperial enforcers. They do more harm than good. They serve monied interests, not popular ones. Their mission isn’t peacekeeping. It’s control in service to dominant imperial powers at the expense of people they’re supposed to protect.

Their record is deplorable - a history of civil and human rights abuses, rape and other sex crimes, corruption, drugs trafficking, smuggling and overall failure to achieve announced mission objectives.

UN peacekeeping operations began in May 1948 - UNTSO the first mission to monitor peace after Israel’s so-called War of Independence. 

The operation remains ongoing. Peace was never achieved. So-called peacekeepers play no active role in what’s ongoing. The mission reflects 67 years of total failure. 

IDF forces rampage at will. UNTSO does nothing to intervene responsibly - nor do top UN officials condemn what they tacitly support through silence.

US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey wants increased “peacekeeping” efforts - more countries contributing more forces in more places to be deployable more quickly to serve US interests globally.

On July 28, Dempsey addressed a meeting on UN peacekeeping at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory. He duplicitously cited the UN Charter’s founding mandate to help “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

No nation throughout its entire history did more to subvert it than America - including every year since the UN’s establishment, more than ever now, notably during Dempsey’s tenure as Joint Chiefs chairman. He’s a warrior, not peacemaker. He’s paid to wage war, not peace.

Dempsey wants more nations actively involved in serving US interests worldwide. He wants them “provid(ing) rapid response forces for emerging crises” - meaning wherever Washington can get other nations to do its dirty work, to enforce its imperial aims at the expense of exploited and abused local populations.

He named three core objectives, saying:

“First, the United Nations needs to generate contributions (greater funding) to mitigate equipment shortfalls, significant equipment shortfalls. Enduring gaps in equipment platforms continue to undermine our efforts in ongoing missions around the world.”

“Second, the United Nations requires commitments from member nations to provide rapid response forces for emerging crises. The rapid deployment of units within 30, 60, or 90 days - for a finite period - can help resolve developing crises, prevent expanded conflict and in the process save more innocent lives.”

“And third, the UN seeks more highly skilled personnel, both police and military, to staff future missions and backfill units transitioning from contingency operations.” 

“(W)e need the capability not just to begin a peacekeeping mission, but to sustain it over time. And experienced personnel add critical skills and tremendous value towards improving peacekeeping operations on the ground.”

Around two-thirds of UN member states contribute around 100,000 Blue Helmets globally, according to world body authorities.

Dempsey wants more Blue Helmet muscle serving America’s imperial agenda - proxy foot soldiers enforcing its interests at the expense of exploited populations worldwide.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Russia to Veto UN Resolution for US-Controlled MH17 Tribunal

Russia to Veto UN Resolution for US-Controlled MH17 Tribunal 

by Stephen Lendman

A veto may have been cast when this article is read. Moscow opposes a US proposed rigged process - suppressing evidence of its culpability and Kiev’s in downing MH17, pointing fingers the wrong way, a longstanding imperial practice.

The whole world SHOULD know neither Russia or Donbass freedom fighters downed MH17, killing all passengers and crew members aboard during flight over Southeastern Ukraine’s war zone. Accusations otherwise are tiresome Big Lies. They wore thin long ago.

Kiev and Washington bear full responsibility for what happened - a thinly veiled scheme to wrongfully blame Russia and Donbass for their criminality. 

Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin called Washington’s scheme to establish an MH17 tribunal it controls for supposedly holding responsible parties accountable “a grandiose political show” with no legitimacy whatever.

On Friday, Security Council members will shortly (or perhaps already) vote(d) up or down on establishing a so-called MH17 international tribunal as this is written - drafted by Malaysia on behalf of its government, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine, together conspiring in coverup, the whole process manipulated by Washington to blame the wrong parties for what happened and absolve culpable ones.

Moscow opposes an attempt to establish a rigged process. It may have already vetoed the resolution if enough other SC members don’t vote “no.” 

Vitaly Churkin said “(w)e will vote against it. I have no doubt (of) that. If the (draft) resolution gets nine or more (“yes”) votes, (there) will be a veto” from Russia. "If it gets less than nine votes,” Moscow will vote “no” without using veto power.

It’s entirely out of line to consider the MH17 incident a “threat to international peace and security” - the wrongheaded language Washington demands.

“No international tribunals have been established before in accordance with UN Charter Chapter VII on civilian plane crashes,” Churkin explained.

The draft resolution doesn’t mention one specifically. It calls for “bring(ing) to justice all those guilty in the air crash.” It requires “cooperat(ion) (from all countries) until the international investigation is completed.”

A Kremlin press release said Putin “confirmed Moscow’s position on (the) inexpediency of establishing an international tribunal remains unchanged. (M)any questions still remain to (be answered), including (about) collected evidence and denying Russia access to (a) significant part in the process.” 

“The Russian side stressed readiness for close cooperation with the aim of finding causes and circumstances of this tragedy.”

Putin explained the importance of fully implementing Security Council Resolution 2166 - calling for a full and comprehensive investigation of what happened.

He “noted that the draft resolution put forward by Russia is aimed at coordinating with the tasks outlined in Resolution 2166. Regret was expressed in connection with the fact that countries calling for establishing an international tribunal on Malaysia Airlines plane crash, did not support this compromise draft.”

Washington rejected Moscow’s alternative resolution calling for more investigatory transparency - instead of secrecy maintained and excluding Russia from access to information collected.

The Kremlin criticized Ban Ki-moon for not appointing a special representative to investigate the incident - one of many services he performs for the imperial interests he represents.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israel Bombs Syria During Large-Scale War Games

Israel Bombs Syria During Large-Scale War Games

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is a warrior state - a nation at all times mobilized for war with hundreds of thousands of reservists ready to supplement active duty forces on short notice.

On July 27, three days of large-scale drills began - “testing the (IDF’s) ability to rapidly transition from routine activities to an emergency war footing,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Hundreds of thousands of reservists got “mock telephone messages” requesting confirmation of receipt. Thousands of others were called up or are on alert to report for duty on command if ordered.

An IDF source said “(t)his is one of the largest reservist telephone call-ups we’ve had in an exercise. We want to ensure that the system is well-oiled and working.”

Northern and Southern commands will test responses to attacks from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. Why when Israel’s only threats are ones it invents. 

It hasn’t been attacked since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. No imminent danger exists now. Large-scale war games intimidate  neighbors. 

Along with other methods Israel uses (practically from the cradle to the grave), it manipulates public sentiment to accept militarism and belligerence as part of daily life - in lieu of a society prioritizing social, economic and political justice for all its citizens and residents, one opposed to occupying another people’s land.

On July 29, Israel again bombed Syria lawlessly. It’s done it half a dozen or more previous times since Obama launched premeditated proxy aggression in March 2011 - besides other times earlier.

Whether Wednesday’s strike was part of Israel’s emergency readiness testing, IDF commanders will have to explain. Perhaps it’s part of Turkey joining Obama’s air war on Syrian targets. Ankara claiming its striking Islamic State forces is a pretext to attack Syrian and Iraqi Kurds.

On Wednesday, an Israeli drone struck a car in Hader, Syria (in Quneitra governorate) near Israel’s border - reportedly killing two Hezbollah members and three others supporting Syria’s liberating struggle against US-enlisted Islamic State and other takfiri terrorists, imported from scores of countries.

Hader is a largely Druze village - located along the Golan ceasefire line. An IDF spokesperson declined comment.

Lebanon Al-Manar television reported “two members of Syria’s National Defense Forces were killed when an Israeli drone targeted their car at the entrance of Hader in Quneitra province.”

In mid-June, takfiri terrorists surrounded Hader following clashes with loyalist forces. On Tuesday, Syria’s military killed members of what it called a terrorist group in southern Quneitra province.

Islamic State field commander Abu Umar al-Shishani was reported killed - so far unconfirmed. Earlier reports of his death proved false. Whether true now isn’t clear.

In his last Sunday address to officials and members of public organizations, vocational syndicates, as well as industrial, trade, agriculture and tourism groups, Assad vowed to defend Syria’s homeland.

Defeating terrorism, restoring peace and stability are his top priorities. State institutions continue providing whatever help they can despite ongoing conflict requiring maximum use of national resources for homeland defense and liberation.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Another US Jail Cell Death Sentence

Another US Jail Cell Death Sentence

by Stephen Lendman

When police in America want someone eliminated, they’re as good as dead. Thirty-seven-year-old Black woman Ralkina Jones is another killer cop victim. 

She was “perfectly fine” the day before her death, according to her sister, Renee Ashford. Last Saturday, she and other family members visited her. “She didn't complain of nothing, saying she was hurting or anything,” Ashford said.

She “would want us to find out why. You can’t just tell me one minute I seen my sister, then the next day she’s dead. That don’t even make sense. And it’s just, ‘I can’t help you. I can’t tell you.’ Like, no. That’s un-human.”

“She was a go-getter…She was the person who held us together.” Cleveland Heights Jail Facility authorities said her body was found “during a routine jail check of prisoners.”

“Squad personnel were unable to locate any vital signs, and it was determined by CHFD paramedics that Ms Jones was deceased.”

According to police, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner is investigating her death. An autopsy completed Monday “revealed no suspicious injuries,” he claimed. 

“The exact cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner pending further studies.” On Friday, Jones was arrested “on charges of felonious assault, domestic violence and child endangerment” - following an alleged confrontation with her  former husband.

Cleveland police said she “was being treated for several medical conditions that were documented during her intake process and she administered her prescribed medication as directed.”

On Saturday, she was taken briefly to a local hospital to check on possible blood pressure and blood sugar abnormalities. After her vital signs were determined normal, she was returned to her cell. Her vitals were last recorded as normal at 12:45AM Sunday morning. Police said they continued monitoring her overnight to check if she was OK.

Yet she was found dead in her cell at 7:30AM under suspicious circumstances. How could a young woman perish hours after being medically determined healthy - another case wreaking of foul play!

Cleveland police shot and killed her uncle, Craig Bickerstaff, in 2003 after an alleged struggle. Family members received $22,500 after suing the city. They’re left with unanswered questions about both deaths.

Given epidemic levels of cops in America killing nonthreatening Blacks, judge for yourself the cause of Jones’ death. 

When a 37-year-old woman pronounced healthy suddenly turns up dead in police custody, the stench of foul play is overwhelming.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Illegitimate Show Trial Sentences Gaddafi's Son to Death

Illegitimate Show Trial Sentences Gaddafi’s Son to Death

by Stephen Lendman

In 2007, candidate Obama said “(t)he president does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Straightaway after entering office, he expanded drone attacks against Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He increased troop strength in Afghanistan after pledging to end war by yearend 2009.

US-led NATO aggression on Libya followed. Obama lied claiming Gaddafi “attack(ed) his (own) people. (So) we took…swift steps…to answer his aggression.”

A litany of Big Lies followed. “Innocent people were targeted for killing,” Obama blustered. “Hospital and ambulances were attacked.”

“Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted and killed…Water for hundreds of thousands of people…was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled. Mosques were destroyed.” 

“Gaddafi declared he would show no mercy to his own people” - willful Obama deception. He tried justifying the unjustifiable, adding “I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973.”

International law is clear. Nations may not attack others except in self-defense - and only if UN Security Council authorized.

America wasn’t attacked, nor other NATO countries. Gaddafi threatened no one, including his own people. The longer war raged, the more popular he became. Libyans rallied around him for safety and security - hoping he’d be able to restore peace and stability.

At war’s end, he was brutally sodomized and murdered in cold blood. On November 19, 2011, his son Saif was arrested trying to flee Libya to safety, held captive by Zintan rebels, tortured, until tried in absentia in Tripoli and convicted by kangaroo tribunal proceedings affording him no chance for justice.

He was declared guilty by accusation - sentenced to death by firing squad along with eight other former Gaddafi officials, including former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, and two former prime ministers, al-Baghdadi and Abuzaid Dorda.

A total of 32 defendants were tried - 23 got lesser sentences and fines. Attorney John Jones represented Saif. “It was clearly a show trial” for all defendants, he said. “It was basically a trial by militia” lasting two days - conducted by an illegitimate Islamist regime controlling Tripoli after ousting the US-installed one operating from Tobruk.

“Lawyers were intimidated,” said Jones. “The judges were intimated. Lawyers had to leave the case.” Controlled proceedings excluded the right to a proper defense. Only two intimidated witnesses for Saif were allowed. No evidence against him was presented.

Prosecutors relied solely on torture extracted information - what no legitimate tribunal permits. Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) human rights director Claudio Cordone said:

“Concerns over the trial include the fact that several defendants were absent for a number of sessions. The evidence of criminal conduct was largely attributed to the defendants in general, with little effort to establish individual criminal responsibility.”

“(I)t is particularly worrisome that the court handed down nine death sentences. International standards require that death sentences may only be imposed after proceedings that meet the highest level of respect for fair trial standards. The United Nations opposes the imposition of the death penalty as a matter of principle.”

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, added:

“We had closely monitored the detention and trial and found that international fair trial standards had failed to be met. Among the key shortcomings is the failure to establish individual criminal responsibility in relation to specific crimes.”

Other serious issues included lack of access to lawyers, torture and other forms of ill treatment, as well as illegitimate trials conducted in absentia.

An UNSMIL press release said “(d)uring their pre-trial detention defendants were denied access to lawyers and family for prolonged periods, and some reported that they were beaten or otherwise ill-treated, but UNSMIL is not aware of any investigation into these allegations.”

“Many defendants were not represented by a lawyer during the pre-trial process, which deprived them of a crucial opportunity to establish their defence. Defence lawyers said they faced challenges in meeting their clients privately or accessing the full case file, and some said they received threats.” 

“They were constrained by the court to two or three witnesses per defendant and some said that witnesses were reluctant to appear in court due to fears about their safety. The court did not respond to defence counsel requests to examine prosecution witnesses.”

US-led NATO turned Africa’s most developed country into a cauldron of endless violence, deprivation and despair.

Tens of thousands were murdered in cold blood. Multiples more were injured and/or displaced. Violence, instability, insecurity and chaos reflect daily life. No end in sight looms. Millions of Libyans live in constant fear. 

Obama bears full responsibility for raping, ravaging, destroying, and plundering a nation threatening no others. Anarchical charnel house conditions replaced it. 

Dystopian harshness persists. Libya is a failed state. Central authority is absent. Public services aren’t provided. Corruption and criminality are rampant. Conditions are in free fall. Human misery is extreme. 

Libya is one of many high crimes on Obama’s rap sheet. Perhaps he plans Libya 2.0 for Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. Longstanding US/Israeli plans to redraw the Middle East map suggest it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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